There are a wide variety of oils included in equine supplements and feeds on the market today, and ongoing studies conducted by various research firms, educational institutions and feed companies have been produced to provide customers with the best first hand knowledge about their benefits.
Through several different study results and findings it is evident that not all oils provide the same health benefits to horses and oils containing long chain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are required in horses' diets, and continue to garner strong results from several studies.
Specifically supplementation with oil high in EPA and DHA (fish oil) has shown to reduce inflammation, support immune ability, promote fertility and aid in respiratory function.
A recent study reported that a group of thoroughbred horses where supplemented for 4 months with blood samples taken at 0, 29, 57, 92 and 127 days, which garnered results of horses receiving fish oil displaying an average increase in serum EPA and DHA, whereas horses receiving other oil showed a decreased in serum.
Moveover, another study demonstrated that horses with respiratory issues noted greater improvement in horses supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids. Specifically, supplemented horses had a 60% improvement in cough scores and a 33% improvement in cough.
Additionally, evidence and studies continue to gather exceptional results and data in support of mare, foal and stallion reproductive health in horses supplemented with fish oil. There is a large sum of evidence that omega-3 fatty acids benefit broodmare health and semen counts in stallions. Also, foal colostrum quality impacted by omega-3 fatty acids displayed rewards of improved memory and cognition.
When looking at equine supplements and oil benefits keep in mind supporting data and evidence for each.
Related research: KER, Vet Practice News Canada